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Canine recurrent flank alopecia is a non-inflammatory, non-scarring alopecia of unknown aetiology and has a visually striking clinical presentation. Although this disease entity is relatively common in
the northern hemisphere, there is only scant information in the literature regarding case descriptions.
The aim of this article was to review the literature and to describe clinical presentations recognized in practice, which are not always extensively documented in the literature.
If a dog is presented for a first episode of canine recurrent flank alopecia (CRFA) with the typical clinical presentation, then endocrinopathies, such as hypothyroidism, breed specific hair cycle abnormalities, colour dilution alopecia, post-shaving arrest, erythema ab igne ...
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by Sophie Vandenabeele, Jan Declercq, Hilde De Cock, Sylvie Daminet
It is of interest that certain breeds that are predisposed for canine recurrent flank alopecia CRFA, such as the Boxer, Airedale and German pointers, are also predisposed for hypothyroidism. ...
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In active lesions, the fairly typical histopathological changes consist of infundibular hyperkeratosis extending to secondary follicles and sometimes even into the sebaceous gland ducts. The hair follicles demonstrate an atrophic base and may be malformed. ...
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In practice, the typical clinical presentation of canine
recurrent flank alopecia is a
bilateral symmetrical, ...
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Canine recurrent flank alopecia:
a synthesis of theory and practice
Volume 25(4), Winter 2015
DVM Dip ACVD Dip ECVD PhD
Department of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology
University of Ghent,
133 Salisbury Avenue,
Sophie Vandenabeele obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Ghent Veterinary Faculty in 1999. In 2001, she started her residency in veterinary dermatology at the University of Davis California, where she became Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology in 2004. In 2004, she became lecturer in dermatology at the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology at the University of Ghent Veterinary Faculty. In 2006, she became diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Dermatology. In 2009, she became head of the Dermatology Unit and in 2014, she defended her PhD on New insights in canine recurrent flank alopecia.
* This paper originally appeared in
Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift, 2014 (83): 275-283
Flank alopecia with interface dermatitis in a 3-year-old English bulldog. Note the thoracolumbar distribution of the lesions with the presence of crusted depigmented plaques within the alopecic area (Picture courtesy of Anja Bonte)
If a dog is presented for a first episode of canine recurrent flank alopecia (CRFA) with the typical clinical presentation, then endocrinopathies, such as hypothyroidism, breed specific hair cycle abnormalities, colour dilution alopecia, post-shaving arrest, erythema ab igne (chronic radiant heat dermatitis), glucocorticoid injection reaction and post-rabies vaccination panniculitis need to be ruled out.
Generalized presentation of canine recurrent flank alopecia in a wirehaired pointer.
Note alopecia of the pinnae, flanks and distal extremities.
It is of interest that certain breeds that are predisposed for canine recurrent flank alopecia CRFA, such as the Boxer, Airedale and German pointers, are also predisposed for hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism usually presents as a slowly progressive alopecia, as opposed to the rapid onset of alopecia in CRFA. Usually, other coat changes are present in hypothyroid dogs such as a scaly or dull and brittle hair coat. Concurrent pyoderma and otitis are an occasional complaint in hypothyroid dogs.